Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day & Thank you

November 11th, a day that we as a Nation take time to recognize all who have stepped up and said “I will serve.  I will sign that line and give back to my Country.”  It is a time when our Nation says thank you.  I could go on a completely different tangent and say the everyday should be Veterans day, because without the Veteran we have nothing that we enjoy on a daily basis.  I will save that for another time on the soapbox or maybe a podcast episode.

This post is to do nothing more than to say “thank you” and I am humbled and forever grateful to each and every Veteran.  Regardless if you served in combat or peace time, what you did for this country allowed us the freedom that we wake up in everyday.  Obviously, I am slanted in my favorite branch (insert OOHRAH and SEMPER FI!!!!), but everyone who has worn a uniform should hold their head high and be proud of the challenge they accepted.

I come from a family that has had family members in wars doing back to the Civil War.  We are a military family, just like many others.  We are proud of our service and have unwavering  support of our troops.

I want to spotlight two of those family members, both Sailors.  One in World War II and one in Vietnam.  One I never met and one that is the greatest man that I have ever known.  

My Grandfather, Tom Ellis.  IMG 5168 17 year old country boy from the hills of Tennessee, who joined the Navy and ended up in the Pacific shooting down Japanese airplanes.  My Grandfather passed away before I was born.  I grew up hearing stories of this epic Man’s Man.

The other Sailor I want to acknowledge is another boy that left home at 17 to join the Navy.  Eventually ending up off the coast of a little island in the South China Sea.  You may have heard of it, Vietnam. 

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This man was the epitome of a man, husband and Father.  He lived his life his way and led his family by example. he never wavered in his responsibilities.  He taught me to love our Country and to respect our Veterans.  He raised a boy that also left home at 17 to join the Corps.  He was a Sailor to the bone and proud of it.  His son loves his Corps with every fiber of his body.  They had multiple verbal sparring matches regarding the rivalry of the Navy and the USMC.  Above all they had respect for each other and each other’s service.  That Sailor is my Dad.  Though he is gone, the lessons he taught me I still use everyday.  Not bad for a Sailor.

The Veterans Day before he passed away, my Dad, Son and I were asked to participate in a Veterans Day television broadcast.  We were asked because of the three generations.  I had been interviewed the year before.  I told them then that my Dad was a Vietnam Veteran and my son was on active duty in the USMC at the time.  So the following year they asked all three of us.  My Dad carried most of the interview.  He spoke bluntly.  He talked about how we are the greatest nation in the world and how he felt every young man should serve in the military.

At the end of the interview, the host asked my Dad that since he was a Sailor, what did he think about having a son and a grandson in the Marine Corps.  He answered in true Sailor fashion, “I figured they couldn’t make it in the Navy!”  And that is how a Sailor starts a bar fight in every clime and place that Marines are!

 

I love you Dad.  I love you Grandpa.  Thank you for your service.

 

 

 

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Youth Deer Hunting and Maddie's 1st Deer

Every Fall scads if hunters hit the woods in the attempts to harvest the ever elusive white tail deer.  Hunters tell their stories and enjoy the fun that “Deer Camp” provides.  A few weeks before the mass exodus to the woods takes place, the best kind of hunting experience takes place in Missouri, the youth hunt.  It is a weekend that is set aside just for the youth.  This is a chance to spend some quality time, one on one, with your child.  It is a time to put down the iPads and other electronics and get into the woods.  If you get lucky, you might even bring a deer home.

I am fortunate for many blessings in my life.  I was blessed with a Father that started taking me into the woods when I was 8 years old and teaching me to hunt.  Later in life I found less and less time to hunt.  The basics things in life took the place of time in the woods.  If it wasn’t work, it was my pro wrestling schedule or it was other activities that prevented me from getting into woods to hunt.

In the summer of 2012, my Father suddenly passed away, ripping an unfillable hole in the very fabric of my life.  As the months passed and depression did not, I began to search for ways to make feel close to my Dad again, even though he was gone.  I decided to head back in to the woods.  I found this time in the tranquility of nature brought me an inner peace.  I also learned that all of my children wanted to learn how to hunt.  I  jumped at the chance.

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 The youth hunt of 2014 gave me the first chance to deer hunt with my two girls, Madison and Marli.  We had no success.  Maddie had a chance, but didn’t take the shot.  She was hard on herself because of it.  My son harvested his first deer during rifle season.  He was 22 and it was his first year hunting.  The ultra competitiveness of Madison made it even harder on her for not taking the shot.

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   Fast forward to the youth hunt 2015, she has had a year to think about her failure to bag a deer the year before.  She boldly stated she would  shoot a deer this year.  She went as far to say she wanted jerky and steaks made from the meat.  I told her she may want to focus on dropping a       deer first before she thinks about she is going to have it processed.

The first day of the youth hunt we could only hunt for 4 hours in the morning due to volleyball games that afternoon.  On the second day we were back in the woods by 5:30 in the morning.  I asked her how long she wanted to hunt that day.  She tells me that we are staying till dark.  She says, “I will sit here for three days if i have to.  I am not leaving till I shoot a deer."

In all total we racked up 11 and a half hours before anything happened.  At 5:00 pm the sun began to drop out of the sky.  we hadn’t seen anything.  But, then it changed quickly as it does while deer hunting.  I look out the back window of the blind and I see two deer running directly at us.  I let her know what is coming.  Madison spins around and begins to take aim.  The deer in front stops about 5 feet from the blind.  I’m telling her to take the shot.  She doesn’t.  The deer then takes a few steps back and now is standing about 10 feet away.  Boom! She pulls the trigger.

I can see her breathing rapidly.  I can see her shaking.  I ask her if it dropped.  She says no.  I tell her to keep watching it.  I see it run about 100 yards and stop.  We work the bolt action on her Remington .243 and wait.  The deer stands there for a couple minutes and then slowly walks away and out of sight.  There was no chance for another another shot.  I am thinking this was the 2nd deer and not the one she shot at.  I tell her we are going to wait for a few minutes and then we will look for a blood trail.  Time passes slowly until we emerge from the blind.  I start looking and there is not a single drop of blood. Anywhere. we keep looking and nothing.  I am starting to think she didn’t land her shot.  After several minutes and finding nothing, I break the bad news to her, she missed.

She is absolutely heart broken.  She begins to cry.  I explain to her buck fever and tell her that it happens all the time.  Maddie was having no part of my consoling her.  We began to discuss things that maybe could have been done better and how to improve before she takes her next shot.  She was listening, but I could tell the only thing on her mind was that she had missed.  After another 20 minutes she asks if we can go look for blood again.  I explained to her there was not enough daylight left to hunt and go look for blood.  She tells me the deer leaned to the side when she shot.  She says, “I know I hit it.”  I  tell her to take me to exactly where she saw the deer run.

We make our way down the hill about 100 yards.  We hear something big in the leaves.  I tell her to take the rifle in case it was another deer.  It was just light enough to take one more shot.  As she is coming back to me to get the rifle, she squeals, “there it is! It’s down!”  Brown on the ground. It took one more shot to finish off the deer.  Immediately following the final shot, she began to cry again.  I’m thinkingI just lost my hunting buddy.  The realization of “I just killed an animal.”  I ask her, “what’s wrong? Are you sad?”  Through the tears and a shaking voice she says, “No! I’m happy!”  She then runs up and hugs me.  Now I was fighting back the tears. There’s no crying in hunting.

While we stood there I could here the leaves rustling.  That’s because her legs were shaking.  She grabbed a leg and helped me drag the button buck up the hill and onto the trail.  She didn’t shy away from the field dressing either.

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Maddie is already talking about rifle season.  She can’t wait to get back into the woods.  She is hooked.  She loves deer hunting.  The moment of her first deer is something we will never forget.  Her little sister Marli is now saying she plans on hitting the woods with us for hunting season.  If you have kids and you are a hunter, take them with you.  You will never forget it.

Thank you Dad for taking me.  You sure would be proud.

 

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Podcasts - What are you listening to?

Podcasts and blogs are nothing new.  It is a platform that turns just about anyone into a “writer” or a “broadcaster”.  I have them both.  If you are reading this, well you found the blog.  I will talk about the podcast in a minute.  It has been a long time since I have updated either one of them.  They take time.  When you have young kids involved in sports, a wife, a job etc., well life gets in the way.  

The intent is to make some regular updates to the blog and get the podcast back on the “air”.  It has been over a year since the latest episode of the DI - The Podcast.  I will explain that in an upcoming podcast.  

Let’s talk about Podcasts.  There are some really good ones out there.  You can locate just about any of them on iTunes.  I have a few favorites. If you haven’t ever given them a chance, I encourage you to do so.  The streaming podcasts have taken over the streaming music in my office at work.

 

Here are some links to a few of the best that I have found.  I encourage you to give them a shot.

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http://www.podcastone.com/Steve-Austin-Show

Live from Hollywood, CA by way of the Broken Skull Ranch, Pro Wrestling Hall of Famer, Action Movie/TV star, Steve Austin lets loose on these no-holds barred, explicit versions of the program. Steve gets down and dirty with Hollywood celebrities, past wrestling buddies, present pros, MMA fighters, athletes, movie stuntmen and from time to time, you the working man (or woman).

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http://www.podcastone.com/The-Ross-Report

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, considered the greatest announcer in wrestling history, brings his incredible celebrity roster of friends, his insight and analysis of today's wrestling stars and storylines, and YOU to his weekly discussion of everything squared circle. Join in the fun as Good Ol' JR takes your calls, makes a few of his own, and spreads the wrestling love around the globe.

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http://www.podcastone.com/Steve-Austin-Show-Clean

Live from Hollywood, CA by way of the Broken Skull Ranch, Pro Wrestling Hall of Famer, Action Movie/TV star, Steve Austin talks about anything and everything that pops into his brain. In this Network friendly version of the show Steve shares tales from his new life, unbelievable past adventures, talks to pro wrestling pals...you name it, Steve's on it.

Ok, not everything I listen to is about pro wrestling.  I dig some true crime.

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http://swordandscale.com/

Sword and Scale is an internet radio show and website covering the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it.  The show and website were launched January 1st, 2014 and feature stories of murder, abduction, rape and even more bizarre forms of crime.  It’s the purest form of true-crime where nothing is off the table.  Everything from 911 calls to court testimony, interviews with victims and sometimes with perpetrators give listeners a 360 degree look at the entire story.  Told from the narrator’s point of view, Sword and Scale goes beyond the news clips and the sensationalist headlines to give listeners the whole story and deeper insight into the cases it covers than any other medium.

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http://serialpodcast.org/  Is he guilty or not?  Listen and see what you think.  I suggest you start this when you have some time, because you won’t want to turn it off.

and if you love SERIAL (like everyone) listen to the follow up podcast http://undisclosed-podcast.com/

OK here comes the shameless self promotional plug - 

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http://www.spreaker.com/user/di-thepodcast also you can find me on iTunes.  This is one is mine and you never know what I will be talking about and who I will be offending.  I warn you don’t be thinned skinned.  You have been warned.

and well one more wrestling one,

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http://www1.play.it/audio/wooooo-nation-with-ric-flair/  Add a little Flair to your life by joining the Nature Boy every week as he talks pro wrestling, sports, tells stories like only he can, and interviews his celebrity friends. No topic is off limits for Flair during his weekly CBS podcast. Come join WOOOOO! Nation!

 

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